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Center for Politics Staff Members Selected For U.S. State Department Exchange Program to Sri Lanka

- Will Travel to South Asia to Increase Civic Engagement -

7/08/09 | CHARLOTTESVILLE - Two staff members of the University of Virginia Center for Politics, Margaret Heubeck and Daman Irby, have been selected to participate in a three-week exchange to Sri Lanka in August as part of a State Department effort to increase civic engagement in the fragile democracy. The trip is a complement to the Center's new Global Perspectives on Democracy (GPD) initiative, which was launched this past March. Heubeck is the Director of Instruction for the Center's Youth Leadership Initiative (YLI), and Irby is the Center's Director of Operations and YLI Deputy Director of Instruction.

"Teaching Sri Lankan citizens the value and promise of democracy is a crucial step towards moving their country beyond war," said Heubeck. "I am honored to be a part of such an important program and I am grateful for the support of the State Department, Relief International, and our other partners." Professor Larry. J. Sabato, Director of the Center for Politics, added his enthusiastic support for the initiative. "I believe that civic education holds real promise for citizens in every country," said Sabato, "The mission of the Center for Politics has always been to show people that promise and make it a reality. This is one more step in that direction."

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"Questioning the Constitution" Documentary Wins International Award of Excellence

International Academy of the Visual Arts Honors Center for Politics and Community Ideas Station Produced Film

5/28/09 | CHARLOTTESVILLE - "Questioning the Constitution," a 2008 documentary produced by the University of Virginia Center for Politics and the Community Ideas Stations, has received the Award of Excellence, given annually by the International Academy of Visual Arts (IAVA). The Award of Excellence is the IAVA's highest distinction. The organization receives more than 9,000 nominations each year for its communicator awards from companies and agencies of all sizes - giving these prizes one of the largest nomination pools in the world.

The documentary "Questioning the Constitution" takes an in-depth look at constitutional reform. The film explores the development of the American Constitution, how it has been interpreted through the years, and goes on to question whether the document should be reformed. Featured commentators in "Questioning the Constitution" include UVA Center for Politics director Larry J. Sabato, former Senate Majority Leader Robert J. Dole, NAACP Chairman Julian Bond, RNC Chairman Michael Steele, ACLU President Nadine Strossen, and constitutional scholar A.E. Dick Howard. The film was made by Mason Mills, the award-winning producer/director of "Wilder: An American First," which he also created in partnership with the Center for Politics.

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Center's Youth Leadership Initiative Hosts Dinner Table Discussion

Educators, Legislators and Center Staff Meet in Richmond to Discuss Communication and Policy

5/07/09 | RICHMOND - On the evening of May 7th, a group of Richmond City educators, Virginia legislators, and staff from the Richmond Times-Dispatch and the Center for Politics gathered in Richmond for the Youth Leadership Initiative’s inaugural YLI Dinner Table Discussion. This first of a planned series of interactive events, made possible by a generous contribution from Ukrop’s Markets and hosted by the Times-Dispatch, brought together teachers from the Richmond public schools, former Virginia Lieutenant Governor John Hager, Delegate Jennifer McClellan, state Senator Ryan McDougle, and Andrew Cain, political editor of the Times-Dispatch, to discuss state fiscal and education policy. The teachers were able to spend several hours sharing thoughts and observations directly with policy makers in an intimate and open setting, and the political practitioners were able to convey to the teachers the most effective way for students to communicate with officials, especially during the General Assembly session.

The next YLI Dinner Table Discussion is being planned for the fall of 2009, following the same format.

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Center Director Larry Sabato Participates in Washington Post Online Discussion

Sabato discusses Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter's decision to switch his party affiliation from Republican to Democrat

View full text of online Q&A session.

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Center for Politics Hosts Brit Hume at U.Va.

Sabato’s American Politics Class Welcomes the Famed Journalist

4/20/09 | CHARLOTTESVILLE - University of Virginia Professor Larry J. Sabato and the Center for Politics will welcome journalist, commentator, and former news anchor Brit Hume to Sabato's 400-student Introduction to American Politics lecture class on Wednesday, April 22nd at 3:00 p.m., in Wilson Hall Auditorium on the grounds of the University of Virginia. This event is hosted and sponsored by the U.Va. Center for Politics.

Hume recently retired after 35 years as one of the nation’s preeminent journalists. He began his career as a reporter for The Hartford Times and The Baltimore Evening Sun, before moving to a position with syndicated columnist Jack Anderson. From 1973-1996, Hume worked for ABC News as a consultant for its documentary division, as a Capitol Hill correspondent, and finally, as the network’s Chief White House correspondent. In 1996, Hume moved to Fox News Network where he remained until his 2009 retirement. At Fox, Hume served as the news channel’s Washington managing editor while simultaneously anchoring the network’s coverage for every presidential election from 1996-2008. Hume also anchored his own show, Special Report with Brit Hume, which became one of the highest rated political programs on cable television. In retirement he continues to participate as a panelist on “Fox News Sunday.”

Hume earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Virginia in 1965. He has received many awards during his career, including the 2003 Sol Taishoff Award for Excellence in Broadcast Journalism and a 1991 Emmy Award for his coverage of the first Gulf War. He also has written two books, Inside Story and Death and Mines. He is currently a board member of the U.Va. Alumni Association.

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Center for Politics Hosts Senator Mark Warner at U.Va.

Larry J. Sabato’s American Politics Class Welcomes the Virginia Senator

4/13/09 | CHARLOTTESVILLE - University of Virginia Professor Larry J. Sabato and the Center for Politics will welcome Virginia Senator Mark R. Warner to Sabato's 400-student Introduction to American Politics class on Wednesday, April 15 at 3:00 p.m., in Wilson Hall Auditorium on the grounds of the University of Virginia. This event will be hosted and sponsored by the U.Va. Center for Politics.

Senator Warner was elected to serve Virginia in the U.S. Senate on November 4, 2008 — winning 65 percent of the vote, all of the state’s 11 Congressional Districts, and 128 of Virginia’s 134 counties and cities. In the Senate, he serves on the Budget Committee, the Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, the Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee, and the Rules and Administration Committee. Warner was Governor of Virginia from 2002-2006. During those years, Warner chaired the National Governors Association, the Southern Governors’ Association, and the Education Commission of the States. While he was the commonwealth’s chief executive, Virginia earned the title “Best Managed State in the Nation” from Governing magazine.

Prior to holding public office, Warner started and led several highly successful businesses — including the cellular phone company Nextel, and Capital Cellular Corporation. Warner earned his Bachelor of Arts in political science from George Washington University in 1977. He received a law degree from Harvard University in 1980.

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Larry Sabato’s Latest Book, The Year of Obama, Set for April Release

Original Essays From U.Va Professor and Top Scholars

4/09/09 | CHARLOTTESVILLE - An unprecedented fusion of political, social, and demographic trends combined to produce the historic election of Barack Obama to the presidency of the United States. U.Va. Professor Larry J. Sabato’s The Year of Obama: How Barack Obama Won the White House tosses aside conventional wisdom and substitutes thoughtful, deeper, and ­— until now, ignored — interpretations of the events and the environment that led to the election of America’s 44th president.

In The Year of Obama, Sabato brings together the nation’s most perceptive observers of American politics, each offering different perspectives. The resulting mosaic provides readers with a comprehensive look at the 2008 election.

Intended for both the casual reader and the classroom, The Year of Obama’s all-original essays examine every facet of the electoral process, from the primaries to the general election. Chapters include Sabato’s interpretation of the election results, focusing on raw votes, regional patterns, and exit poll data; a look at the importance and influence of new media in determining the election; a tour through the maze of political money by Michael E. Toner, former chairman of the Federal Election Commission; and an examination of the 2008 Congressional elections and their impact on the national race, by Professor Bruce Larson of Gettysburg College.

The Year of Obama is published by Longman, an imprint of Pearson. The book is currently available at the University of Virginia Bookstore, and will be released nationally April 15.

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Center Director Larry J. Sabato Invited to London for Series of Lectures

Sabato scheduled to appear in Great Britain March 2 throuth March 5

2/27/09 | LONDON - The University of Virginia Center for Politics is pleased to announce that its director, Professor Larry J. Sabato, has been invited to London for a series of lectures. On Tuesday, March 3, Sabato will speak in Westminster Hall to the British-American Parliamentary Group at 12:30 p.m. GMT. On Wednesday, March 4, Sabato will deliver the British Library’s prestigious Bryant Lecture, with the program set to begin at 6:15 p.m. GMT. On Thursday, March 5, he will headline events with the Foreign Press Association at 11:30 a.m. GMT and the English Speaking Union at 12:30 p.m. GMT. During the trip Sabato will announce a new Center for Politics pilot program, the Global Perspectives on Democracy Initiative, aimed at building an international, democracy education/civic engagement program to benefit citizens of democracies around the world.

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Center for Politics Hosts Governor Brian Schweitzer at U.Va.

Larry J. Sabato's American Politics Class Welcomes Montana Governor

2/25/09 | Charlottesville, VA - University of Virginia Professor Larry J. Sabato and the Center for Politics are pleased to welcome Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer to Sabato's 400-student Introduction to American Politics lecture class on Wednesday, February 25 at 3:00 p.m., in Wilson Hall Auditorium, on the grounds of the University of Virginia. This event is hosted and sponsored by the Center for Politics.

Schweitzer was elected to his second term as Montana's chief executive in November 2008. The Wall Street Journal has described him as having a "well-spoken, gun-owning, dog-loving, native-ritual-doing, shot-of-whiskey-drinking, true-west style." A farmer and rancher by trade, Schweitzer had held no elected office prior to being inaugurated in 2005 as Montana's first Democratic Governor in 20 years. During his tenure Governor Schweitzer has invested more in both K-12 and higher education than any previous Montana governor, while also capping tuition of that state's colleges and universities; has increased the number of children receiving health care through the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) to more than 16,000; and his fiscal policies have seen Montana receive the first upgrade in its bond rating in 26 years.

The Governor earned a Bachelor of Science degree in international agronomy from Colorado State University in 1978, and Master of Science degree in soil science from Montana State University in 1980.

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Center for Politics Chief of Staff, Ken Stroupe, reviews the history of gerrymandering in the Commonwealth of Virginia

2/24/09 | Charlottesville, VA - Ken Stroupe, U.Va Center for Politics Chief of Staff and member of the state Commission on Civics Education recently published, in conjunction with the University of Virginia Weldon Cooper Center, an extensive review of the history of gerrymandering in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Gerrymandering isn't always the reason for low competition and low turnout. But, "to the extent this form of political manipulation results in voter apathy and suppression, it serves as a significant limitation on one of the greatest exercises of liberty possessed by the citizens of this state and nation," Stroupe writes.

Download Gerrymandering's Long History In Virginia: Will This Decade Mark The End?

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